Categories: EcosystemNewsStartups

Jordan’s Propeller hits first close for its new $15 million fund

Amman-based early-stage VC Propeller has concluded the first close of its second fund, Propeller Ventures II, it announced today. The fund has a target size of $15 million and aims to achieve the final close next year. The investors in the fund include Jordan’s  Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF), Capital Bank of Jordan. Beyond Capital, and multiple individuals including a former Careem executive.

The VC firm that was founded by Tambi Jalouqa and Zaid Al-Farekh in 2017 will invest in pre-seed and seed-stage startups in Jordan and the rest of the region, through this new fund. It is sector agnostic but will favor investments in software and technology startups (including SaaS, cloud infrastructure, etc.) over tech-enabled businesses.

Propeller’s co-founder and CEO Tambi Jalouqa told MENAbytes that the new fund will mainly invest in Jordanian startups with a few investments in the rest of the region every now and then. Its average cheque size would range between $150,000 to $250,000. He also said that they are in the process of finalizing a few deals (that were in their pipeline) and will start deploying the capital right away.

In a statement, he said, “We seek founders who are obsessed about their customers and follow their lead. Our experience in building products and teams gives us the strength to empower them to satisfy those customers.”

Laith Al-Qassem, CEO at ISSF, said, “ISSF is extremely excited to have concluded an investment in Propeller Ventures II. ISSF’s excitement stems from the fact that Propeller provides startups they invest in with real-world and practical mentoring, enabling investee companies to more successfully navigate the chaotic waters of starting and growing successful businesses.”

“We see Propeller’s proactive coaching as a great added value particularly since the principals of Propeller are themselves successful entrepreneurs who are intimately familiar with challenges of establishing and growing successful businesses,” he added.

Tambi and Zaid come from software engineering backgrounds. Both of them have combined experience of over 30 years in building technology products and companies and that is where their passion for software startups comes from. They had started Propeller as an accelerator but later changed the model to make direct investments (instead of following a structured accelerator program). Its companies from the first fund include Arabot, POSRocket, and Nestrom.

“With a focus on software and technology, Propeller is betting hard on the builders of our region and are already leading several initiatives to enrich and advance the software community — that is the software engineers, product managers, designers, and anyone building tech products,” stated Propeller in a statement.

Propeller is one of the few VCs in the region that are also focused on producing content for the founders and other stakeholders of the ecosystem. In 2019, they had organized an international software development conference (Xpand) that brought together over 500 software professionals from different parts of the region in Amman to learn insights, global practices, and lessons from the international subject matter experts. The firm also has two podcasts; Let’s Talk Product for founders and product managers, and Xpand Snippets for software engineers.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

A tech and startup enthusiast based in Lahore, Pakistan. Zubair apart from leading MENAbytes is also building Qraar, a career discovery and development platform for millennials in MENA. He can be reached on Linkedin, Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.

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